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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:58 PM

At the Gate - Friday

Kentucky Oaks Day is here and so is Mother Nature as there is a 100% chance we see some rain on Friday and Saturday. This would be the third year in a row we could witness the Run for the Roses over a wet track.

Perhaps we will get lucky and there will be a break in the forecast on Saturday. There is a two-hour gap between the 10th race, the Pat Day Mile (G2) and the Kentucky Derby, which is the 12trh race. (The 11th is on turf).

That means if it is raining the track could be sealed, so there is a chance the surface will not be a sea of slop. There also are some great betting opportunities in some of the turf races over the next few days, so let’s hope the weather does not force a switch to the main track.

Every year during Derby week there is a buzz horse or two. This year it has been By My Standards and War of Will, who are both 15-1 on the morning line.

There also has been a “buzz filly” this year and it is Bellafina, who is the 2-1 morning line favorite for today’s Kentucky Oaks (G1).

However, it has not been a good buzz. Clockers have not liked what they have seen from her in the mornings, and I have been receiving texts and emails that say jump off her bandwagon.

We have already seen a few major upsets in the three-year-old filly division, including Out for a Spin winning the Ashland (G1) at 52-1 and Jeltrin winning the Davona Dale (G2) at 51-1.

I’m off the bandwagon as well with a huge longshot in the Oaks.

If you missed the memo the Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach has been scratched out of the race. The colt was diagnosed with an entrapped epiglottis. He will have minor surgery and likely back in training in a month but will miss the Triple Crown races.

Game Winner is now the morning line favorite at 4-1 and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has the top three betting choices, something that has never happened in the first 144 runnings of the race. Roadster and Improbable are the co-second choices on the morning line at 5-1.

We have had six consecutive betting favorites win the Kentucky Derby, and there is a chance it could be seven by Saturday evening.

My Best Plays for Friday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Belmont Park daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday, and my Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes Day Reports.

To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports for Friday click here.

Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:

BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:30 ET)

6 Canarsie Girl 4-1

5 Mo Moxie 4-5

2 We Are Family 2-1

1 Miss You Blues 10-1


Analysis: Canarsie Girl is back on dirt here after prompting the early pace and tiring to fish ninth on turf ant nine furlongs. This gal ran second in her two previous starts., up close to the pace but no match for the winners late. There is not much early speed in here and this filly might be able to get the jump on the chalk Pedigree wise she seems more suite for the main track. The Contessa barn is 9% winners moving runners from turf to dirt.

Mo Moxie is going to be tough here but she is going to be a puny price. She has burned a ton of money, the beaten chalk in three of her last four starts. Last out off a two month break she pressed the early pace and could not get by the winner in a runner up finish, earning the top last out speed fig. Her last two figs stand out against this slow group.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 2,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:

BEL Race 8 The Flat Out (5:18 ET)

2 Marconi 5-2

8 Monongahela 4-1

1 Twisted Tom 8-1

6 Rocketry 2-1


Analysis: Marconi tracked the early pace and finished strongly to get up and win the Skip Away last out at Gulfstream Park going 1 3/16 miles. The colt checked in fourth two back against Alw-1 optional claimers in his first start off a 10-month layoff. The Pletcher trainee showed some ability as a three-year-old with a third din the Withers (G3) in his first start against winners. He looks as if he can handle the extra ground here and is sitting on a good one here in his third start off the bench.

Monogahela tracked the early pace while down along the 2-3 paths and made a mild late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Excelsior (G3) at nine furlongs at the Big A. He was down toward the inner paths on a day most of the winners were coming from the outer part of the racing strip He has now landed in the runner up spot in four straight starts. His numbers are solid and he does not need to move forward much to beat this group. Servis has been on the quiet side in New York recently, going just 3 for 23 over the past 30 days.

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,8 / 1,2,6,8
TRI: 2,8 / 1,2,6,8 / 1,2,5,6,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

CD Race 8 La Troienne G1 (2:53 ET)

2 Blue Prize 3-1

3 Divine Miss Grey 7-2

1 She's A Julie 7-2

9 Secret Spice 5-2


Analysis: Blue Prize makes her first start since a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff where she came up 1 1/2 lengths short at 8-1 as our top pick. She went into the race having won her three previous outings including the Fleur De Lis 'Cap (G2) and Locust Grove (G3) over the main track here. She then was a smart looking winner of the Spinster (G1) at Keeneland. She won the Locust Grove off a three-month break. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and sports sharp works for her return.

Divine Miss Grey took to the slop last out at Aqueduct, taking the field gate to wire to win the Heavenly Prize by three lengths. It was her 12th win in 24 career starts for the mare. One of those wins came here in the Chilukki (G2) here on BC Day last fall and then she ran second in the Falls City 'Cap (G2). She has done some of her best work on wet tracks a and that is a possibility today. Her last effort was off a 3 1/2 month break and she does not need to move forward much off that effort to win in this spot.

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3,9
TRI: 2,3 / 1,2,3,9 / 1,2,3,6,9

Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

Belmont Park
R1: #1 Miss You Blues 10-1
R2: #2 Forever Daisy 8-1
R4: #3 Gattino Marrone 10-1
R7: #5 Not Sure 12-1
R7: #10 Forgotten Hero 8-1
R8: #1 Twisted Tom 8-1
R9: #10 Kitty Therapy 15-1
R9: #4 Romping Rosie 8-1

Good luck today!

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